After 31 years, Stauffer honored


April 10, 1994|By PAT O'MALLEY

It's hard to imagine something sports-related happening around Annapolis High School without Fred Stauffer knowing about it, but it did Friday evening. Even his parents kept the secret.

Stauffer's parents, Mr. and Mrs. Claude Stauffer, who have been married 66 years, proudly looked on as a memorable night unfolded for their son.

John Rentch and the Annapolis High Sports Boosters with the blessings of principal Laura Webb presented "Fred Stauffer Night" to honor the athletic director for his 31 years of service to the school.

Stauffer, who was a Panther track and cross country coach before becoming athletic director in 1971, found out he was going to be honored on Thursday, but he had no idea the street leading into the athletic complex would be named Fred Stauffer Lane.

As the final speaker, Rentch pulled the official green street sign with white letters from a long brown bag to startle Stauffer.

"I've seen some surprises here, but this tops them all, and I can't believe you pulled this one off," said an emotional Stauffer, fishing for words as he addressed the big crowd gathered for his night and the subsequent boys lacrosse game.

"I can't thank you enough for this."

In his 23 years as Annapolis athletic director, Stauffer has been a consummate professional with the ability to combine administrative and athletic responsibilities.

Under his leadership, wholesale improvements have been made Richard G. Ensor Stadium, including the installation of a press box, lights, sound system, scoreboard, concession stand, restrooms, team rooms and storage bays.

Former county coordinator of physical education Paul Rusko, in addressing the crowd Friday night, credited Stauffer for implementing computerized results of track and cross country meets and invitationals at Annapolis.

His fiscal prowess resulted in the retiring of debts sooner than expected on the Al Laramore Field for football and other projects. A successful four-year rotation for purchasing uniforms for all sports is another Stauffer achievement.

"Yours [Annapolis] is the only school in the county where the kids are not required to go around the community knocking on doors asking for donations for uniforms and such," said Ken Nichols, a former Annapolis principal and current assistant to the county superintendent.

"Other county athletic directors can't say the same, but should do what he does."

There are few like him in the often thankless and unappreciated job of athletic director, a county position that's takes full-time but is budgeted as a part-time job. A few free periods are hardly enough to perform unenviable tasks.

It's a job that you have to love because you know you are helping kids and that's why you go beyond the call of duty. That's Fred Stauffer.

Annapolis mayor Al Hopkins profiled Stauffer best Friday night. Looking right at Fred's parents, Hopkins said, "Your son is a CCC -- compassionate, concerned and a credit to Annapolis."

Samaras wins Hart award

Congratulations to Annapolis three-sport star Cristi Samaras, recipient of the Dick Hart Girls Basketball Award.

Princeton-bound Samaras, who led the Panthers of coach Dave Griffith to the state 4A semifinals in basketball, wins the award based on her determination, character and impeccable leadership qualities that set the late Hart apart as the 30-year coach at Andover.

Sanchez moves on

After eight years of coaching in Anne Arundel County, Wayne Sanchez has moved on to become head women's soccer coach at Mount St. Mary's in Emmitsburg.

Sanchez began his coaching career as an assistant to Joyce Stefancik at Severna Park (four years) and later became head coach of the Archbishop Spalding girls.

After three years as the Spalding coach, Sanchez coached the Severn boys last year.

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